For questions about finding factors of e.g. integers or polynomials

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29
votes
2answers
3k views

Is factoring polynomials as hard as factoring integers?

There seems to be a consensus that factorization of integers is hard (in some precise computational sense.) Is it known whether polynomial factorization is computationally easy or hard? One thing I ...
-2
votes
5answers
3k views

Proof of $a^n+b^n$ divisible by a+b when n is odd [closed]

I read somewhere that $(a^n - b^n)$ It is always divisible by a-b. When n is even it is also divisible by a+b. When n is odd it is not divisible by a+b. and $(a^n + b^n)$ ...
4
votes
4answers
542 views

Factoring $ac$ to factor $ax^2+bx+c$

I was watching a first-year high-school-algebra student struggle with factoring quadratics last night. Given a quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$ (I'll give you the exact example in a moment), her method — ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can we prove that among positive integers any number can have only one prime factorization?

I have read right from school that prime factorization is unique, but have never found proof for this. Can someone show me the proof?
92
votes
12answers
5k views

Why does factoring eliminate a hole in the limit?

$$\lim _{x\rightarrow 5}\frac{x^2-25}{x-5} = \lim_{x\rightarrow 5} (x+5)$$ I understand that to evaluate a limit that has a zero ("hole") in the denominator we have to factor and cancel terms, and ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

A theorem about prime divisors of generalized Fermat numbers?

A theorem of Édouard Lucas related to the Fermat numbers states that : Any prime divisor $p$ of $F_n=2^{2^n}+1$ is of the form $p=k\cdot 2^{n+2}+1$ whenever $n$ is greater than one. Does anyone ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to factor the quadratic polynomial $2x^2-5xy-y^2$?

How do I factor this polynomial: $2x^2-5xy-y^2$ ?
2
votes
3answers
455 views

Multiplication partitioning into k distinct elements

Let's say I have a list with the prime factors of a number $n$ and their corresponding exponents. Is there a formula to calculate how many multiplications with $k$ distinct factors of $n$ are possible?...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Quadratic Polynomial factorization

This could be primary school stuff. But I want to ask it. In factoring $x^2+bx+c$ (i.e. $a = 1$ in $ax^2+bx+c$), we find $m$ and $n$ such that $m+n = b$ and $mn=c$. We can reason this well as follows:...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Factorize polynomial over $GF(3)$

I want to factorize $x^{11}-1$ over $GF(3)$ but I'm stuck at $(x-1)(x^{10}+x^9+x^8+x^7+x^6+x^5+x^4+x^3+x^2+x+1).$ I have tried to do it trial and error but failed. Is $$ x^{10}+x^9+x^8+x^7+x^6+x^5+x^...
8
votes
7answers
652 views

Solve $\sqrt{x+4}-\sqrt{x+1}=1$ for $x$

Can someone give me some hints on how to start solving $\sqrt{x+4}-\sqrt{x+1}=1$ for x? Like I tried to factor it expand it, or even multiplying both sides by its conjugate but nothing comes up right....
32
votes
4answers
2k views

Fermat's Last Theorem and Kummer's Objection

In 1847 Lamé had announced that he had proven Fermat's Last Theorem. This "proof" was based on the unique factorization in $\mathbb{Z}[e^{2\pi i/p}]$. However, Kummer, proved that when $p=23$ we do ...
3
votes
6answers
729 views

Solving $\sqrt{7x-4}-\sqrt{7x-5}=\sqrt{4x-1}-\sqrt{4x-2}$

Where do I start to solve a equation for x like the one below? $$\sqrt{7x-4}-\sqrt{7x-5}=\sqrt{4x-1}-\sqrt{4x-2}$$ After squaring it, it's too complicated; but there's nothing to factor or to expand?...
6
votes
2answers
429 views

Factoring $X^{16}+X$ over $\mathbb{F}_2$

I just asked wolframalpha to factor $X^{16}+X$ over $\mathbb{F}_2$. The normal factorization is $$ X(X+1)(X^2-X+1)(X^4-X^3+X^2-X+1)(X^8+X^7-X^5-X^4-X^3+X+1) $$ and over $GF(2)$ it is $$ X(X+1)(X^2+...
5
votes
2answers
855 views

Factoring Quadratics: Asterisk Method

I'm teaching my students about factoring quadratics. We've done GCF, difference of two squares, squared binomials, and grouping. One of my colleagues then found this asterisk method on line. It's ...
11
votes
8answers
647 views

How to factor quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$?

How do I shorten this? How do I have to think? $$ x^2 + x - 2$$ The answer is $$(x+2)(x-1)$$ I don't know how to get to the answer systematically. Could someone explain? Does anyone have a link to ...
2
votes
6answers
323 views

Factoring Quadratics

Is there a method to find which numbers to use when simplifying quadratics? For example $x^2 + 5x + 6$ is easy enough to find, but what if I have bigger numbers, or I have this quadratic expression: ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

If I remove the premise $a\neq b$ in this question, will the statement still be true?

I encountered this proving problem, I can do the proof but my question is why in the condition/premise we need $a$ to be unequal to $b$? My guess is that even $a=b$, the statement is still true, is it ...
45
votes
16answers
98k views

What is a real world application of polynomial factoring?

The wife and I are sitting here on a Saturday night doing some algebra homework. We are factoring polynomials and we both had the same thought at the same time: when are we going to use this? I feel ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there a simple explanation why degree 5 polynomials (and up) are unsolvable?

We can solve (get some kind of answer) equations like: $$ ax^2 + bx + c=0$$ $$ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d=0$$ $$ax^4 + bx^3 + cx^2 + dx + e=0$$ But why is there no formula for an equation like $$ax^5 + ...
27
votes
2answers
2k views

Factorize $(x+1)(x+2)(x+3)(x+6)- 3x^2$

I'm preparing for an exam and was solving a few sample questions when I got this question - Factorize : $$(x+1)(x+2)(x+3)(x+6)- 3x^2$$ I don't really know where to start, but I expanded everything to ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Is $x^4+4$ an irreducible polynomial?

We know that $p(x)=x^4-4=(x^2-2)(x^2+2)$ is reducible over $\mathbb{Q}$ even not having roots there. What about $q(x)=x^4+4\in \mathbb{Q}[x]$? Again, no roots.
16
votes
6answers
8k views

Factoring a hard polynomial

This might seem like a basic question but I want a systematic way to factor the following polynomial: $$n^4+6n^3+11n^2+6n+1.$$ I know the answer but I am having a difficult time factoring this ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Smallest number with a given number of factors

From my rather rudimentary explorations of this fascinating problem, I believe it to be a layered and rewarding subject for investigation. My question, essentially, is: How do you find the smallest ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

Find the largest prime factor

I just "solved" the third Project Euler problem: The prime factors of 13195 are 5, 7, 13 and 29. What is the largest prime factor of the number 600851475143 ? With this on Mathematica: <...
6
votes
1answer
417 views

Isomorphism of formal power series factorrings over polynomials

This problem is taken from the Hartshorne's book Algebraic Geometry, Chapter 1, Section 5, Problem 14(a). Two polynomials $f(x,y)$ and $g(x,y)$ are written in the form $$f(x,y) = f_{r}(x,y) + f_{r+...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Probability that a number has $m$ indistinct factors

I just discovered Matlab's factor()-function, and I randomly typed in 20081294819, and to my surprise it only had two factors (5099 and 3938281)! I had expected many more factors for such a big number ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Finding integers satisfying $m^2 - n^2 = 1111$

We have to find the integers $m$ and $n$ which will satisfy the given condition: $$m^2-n^2=1111.$$ What could be the answer and how? i tried using trial and error and that took a long time.
2
votes
1answer
186 views

By viewing the polynomials as a difference of two squares, factorise the following polynomials.

By viewing the polynomials as a difference of two squares, factorise the following polynomial: $$x^4+x^2+1.$$ I searched but couldn't find a way to solve this Edit: By using Hans Lundmark hint, I get:...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Irreducibility of polynomials $x^{2^{n}}+1$

I would like to if the polynomials of the form $x^{2^{n}}+1$ are irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$ and in that case if there is some "easy" proof for that (where easy means not using a big theory like ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Complex filter factorizations - continued

Continuing from this rather silly trivial question factoring real valued filters into shorter complex ones, hoping this won't be as trivial. If we modify it a bit: $$z_0 = e^{2\pi i / 8}$$ and $$\...
1
vote
2answers
156 views

How to factor cubics having no rational roots

$$-8x^3 +8x -3 = 0$$ I've already tried the possible roots of $\pm 1$ and $3$ using the rational roots test, but none of these help break it down into something more workable. How do I solve this ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Principal ideal domain with finitely many ideals

Let $aR$ be a nonzero ideal in a PID $R$. Show that $R/aR$ is a ring with only finitely many ideals. Honestly, I do not know how to start. Appreciate any tips.
0
votes
2answers
123 views

How to factor polynomials in $\mathbb{Z}_n$?

How to factor a certain polynomial over $Zn$. for example factor the following polynomial into irreducible polynomials in $Z5$: $X^3+X^2+X-1$ or factor the following polynomial into irreducible ...
0
votes
1answer
301 views

Calculating powers of 2 on a 2D grid without factoring.

Consider the following 2D infinitely large grid where the dots represent infinity: ...
0
votes
3answers
43 views

Solve for $A,B$: $\mathrm{LCM}(A,B)=168$, $\mathrm{HCF(A,B)}=12$

The highest common factor and the lowest common multiple of two numbers $A$ and $B$ are $12$ and $168$ respectively. Find the possible values of $A$ and $B$ with the exception of $12$ and $168$. ...
-4
votes
2answers
148 views

Check if the number $3^{2015} - 2^{2015}$ is prime [closed]

Is $3^{2015} - 2^{2015}$ a prime. If not, why?
9
votes
3answers
33k views

Largest prime factor of 600851475143 [duplicate]

I'm trying to use a program to find the largest prime factor of 600851475143. This is for Project Euler here: http://projecteuler.net/problem=3 I first attempted this with the code that goes through ...
23
votes
2answers
378 views

Solve $x^4+3x^3+6x+4=0$… easier way?

So I was playing around with solving polynomials last night and realized that I had no idea how to solve a polynomial with no rational roots, such as $$x^4+3x^3+6x+4=0$$ Using the rational roots test, ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Factor $x^4+1$ over $\mathbb{R}$

Factor $x^4+1$ over $\mathbb{R}$ Well, I read this question first wrongly, because the reader is about complex analysis, I did it for $\mathbb{C}$ first. I got. $x^4+1=(x-e^{\pi i/4 })(x-e^{3 \pi i/...
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Prove that if $7^n-3^n$ is divisible by $n>1$, then $n$ must be even.

I tried using factorization of $a^n-b^n$ for odd $n$ in an attempt to work through to a situation where the factors are such that they cannot have n as a factor. But I reached nowhere. Here's how I ...
13
votes
10answers
4k views

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics with a coefficient in front of the 'x' term. I just don't understand any explanation. My teacher gave up and said just ...
9
votes
4answers
997 views

How to determine in polynomial time if a number is a product of two consecutive primes?

How to determine in polynomial time if a number is a product of two consecutive primes? All I can figure out is that if Cramér's conjecture is true, then we can use the AKS primality test to find $...
6
votes
2answers
273 views

Are Euclid numbers squarefree?

Are Euclid numbers squarefree ? An Euclid number is by definition a Primorial number + 1. See http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Primorial.html. In notation the $n$ th Euclid number is written as $E_n = ...
22
votes
0answers
335 views

Irreducibility of $~\frac{x^{6k+2}-x+1}{x^2-x+1}~$ over $\mathbb Q[x]$

The Artin—Schreier polynomial $~x^n-x+1~$ is always irreducible over $\mathbb Q[x]$, unless $n=6k+2$, in which case it seems to have only two factors, one of which is always $x^2-x+1$. The ...
17
votes
1answer
693 views

Irreducibility of $x^{n}+x+1$

Motivated by this problem, and KCd's comment on my answer, I am left with the following question: Question: Suppose that $n\not \equiv 2\pmod{3}$. Is $$x^n+x+1$$ irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$? ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Can any Polynomial be factored into the product of Linear expressions?

Specifically I am wondering if... Given a Polynomial of n degree in one variable with coefficients from the Reals. Will every Polynomial of this form be able to be factored into a product of n ...
5
votes
0answers
315 views

proof that $\frac{x^p - 1}{x-1} = 1 + x + \dots + x^{p-1}$ is irreducible

I am reading the group theory text of Eugene Dickson. Theorem 33 shows this polynomial is irreducible $$ \frac{x^p - 1}{x-1} = 1 + x + \dots + x^{p-1} \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$$ He shows this polynomial ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Using Parseval' s theorem to evaluate a sum..

On the function $f(x)$ = $x^3$ on $(-1,1)$ find Fourier coefficients for this function and then use Parseval's Theorem to evaluate: $$\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\frac{1}{n^6}$$ Current work: I have used ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Factorize a Symmetric matrix as an 'Approximation' with an outer product.

(deprecated-taken back based on discussion(OLD)) What is a good way to factor a symmetric matrix $X$ as an outer product of two vectors $u$ and $v$. i.e, Find two vectors $u$ and $v$ such that $X=uv^T$...